Background: The cognitive impairment in patients with generalized epilepsy may affect their social efficiency and quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study is to determine the cognitive dysfunction and related risk factors in patients with generalized epilepsy as compared to patients with non-epileptic neurological disorders.
Methods: In the present descriptive cross-sectional study, the cognitive function was assessed by Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test in 62 patients with generalized epilepsy and also 62 patients with non-epileptic neurological diseases who referred to the Neurology Clinic, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran. The relationship between cognitive impairment and related risk factors was also investigated. The data were analyzed by SPSS software.
Results: The mean score of MoCA in the patients with generalized epilepsy and the control group was 22.80 ± 4.14 and 26.48 ± 2.85, respectively (P < 0.050). The results indicated significantly lower MoCA scores in the epileptic group rather than the non-epileptic one (P < 0.001). Moreover, there was a significant relationship between MoCA score and age, education level, living place, the dose and rate of medicines, and the number of seizures in patients with epilepsy (P < 0.001). Gender and the duration of disease had no significant effects on the cognitive impairment of patients with epilepsy (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Patients with epilepsy had a significant cognitive impairment as compared to the patients with non-epileptic neurological disorders. Age, education level, living place, the dose and rate of medicines, and the number of seizures were the risk factors of cognitive impairment in the patients with epilepsy, while duration of disease and gender had no effects on the intensity of cognitive deficits.